What's Killing the Babies Of Vernal, Utah?
"a fracking boomtown, a spike in stillborn deaths and a gusher of unanswered questions."
This in-depth story in Rolling Stone, about a town in America, shows what can happen as a result of fracking. So, how far will we, as individuals, allow some companies and governments to go in order to extract oil and gas in our name?
What if this was your town, your family...and the rest of the world (and even some neighbours) just ignored it?
It happens all the time.
In Canada, huges swathes of land are being decimated - trees cleared, toxic ponds created - to extract oil from 'tar sands' despite ongoing campaigns by indigenous people who hunted, farmed and fished in the area for centuries. Now, fish are too polluted to eat.
For years, third world countries have been littered with examples of devastating crimes against humanity and our environment, so that western companies could drill for oil.
Plastic 'soups' are turning our oceans into landfill overspill. It isn't just making our beaches ugly. Plastic is entering our food chain and leaching chemicals as it degrades in our environment. Disposable plastic is also a total waste of precious oil resources.
As the Rolling Stone article highlights, a stomach churning number of people simply turn a blind eye, because admitting the truth is uncomfortable, inconvenient and for many, it affects the 'bottom line'. And the world keeps asking for more....bigger cars, multiple flights, disposable everything.
Government support for the renewables industry in the UK has been cut. Meanwhile the government gives more of our money to the dirtiest fuel industries. Is nuclear the alternative? With countries as far afield as Wales still suffering the effects of Chernobyl, is that a risk you want to take?
The biggest high street banks, pensions and investment portfolios are investing your money in these industries - nuclear and fossil fuels - making us all complicit in these crimes against humanity and the environment.
What sometimes looks like a healthy profit is really costing the earth.
Can we turn off the oil tap right now? Not everywhere, not completely.
But as individuals and consumers, we can say no more.
We can begin choosing the many alternatives to oil-based products, and show these companies that human lives - and the health of the eco system that supports us - are more important than many of the 'conveniences' we can easily live without.
5 Simple Ways To Be The Change (in Britain)....
1) Switch to The Co-operative Bank
(a unique ethical policy which includes no investment in fossil fuels)
2) Move to Ecotricity (100% renewable electricity, frack free promise on gas). You get the same rate, even if you're on a pay-as-you-go meter.
3) Avoid single-use, disposable plastics as often as you can and it'll become second nature. Sometimes you might do without, other times you can find an alternative.
4) If you're a jet setter, try a few more stay-cations.
5) If you drive a car, maybe it could be smaller, more efficient, or used less.
Nobody's perfect and none of us want to give up all our comforts. But, if ordinary, everyday people make a few significant changes to the way we live and work, we can force the billionaire-owned companies to change how they do business.
And as a result, we can save ordinary everyday lives.
Plastic In The Ocean: http://www.5gyres.org/
The Story Of Bottled Water: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se12y9hSOM0
Canada's Tar Sands: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sjia7BsP4Bw